According to Hindu mythology Goa was created when the sage Shri Parasurama,
Lord Vishnu's sixth incarnation, fired an arrow into the sea from the top of the
Western Ghats and ordered the waters to recede. The spot where the shaft fell to
earth, known in Sanskrit as "Banali" and later corrupted by the Portuguese to
Benaulim, lies in the center of Colva Beach, 7-km west of Margao.
The beach is a 2 km strach of sand and surf. A small river flows into the sea at the top of the village, below a broad
spur of soft white sand, from where a dirt track strikes across an expanse of
paddy fields towards Anjuna. The old red tiled fisherman's houses behind the
dunes have long been swamped by gaudily lit bars, Tandoori terrace restaurants
and handicraft shops, but one doesn't feel quite so hemmed in as in Calangute -
Only a decade ago, this fishing and rice-farming village, scattered around
the coconut groves and paddy fields between the main Colva-Mobor Road and the
dunes, had barely made it onto the backpackers map. Now, the shady lane leading
through it is studded with guesthouses and souvenir stalls while the paddy
fields on the outskirts are gradually disappearing under a rash of gigantic
luxury resorts and time-share apartment blocks. For the time being, however,
this remains a peaceful and welcoming place to unwind.
Either side of the sand blown beachfront, the gently shelving sands shimmer
away almost to the horizon, littered with photogenic wooden fishing boats that
provide welcome shade if the walk from the palm trees to the sea gets too much.
Hawkers, itinerant masseurs and fruit wallahs appear from time to time, but one
can easily escape them by heading south towards neighboring Varca, where tourism
has thus far made little impact.
Moreover, the sea is safe for swimming on quiet days, while the village
itself boasts a few serviceable bars and restaurants, several telephone booths
and a couple of stores.
Benaulim's proximity to Margao market, along with the presence of its
Christian Fishing Community, means its restaurants serve one of the most
succulent, competitively priced seafood in Goa. The most popular places to eat
are the shack cafes in the beachfront area.
However, one'll find better food at lower prices in the smaller terrace
restaurants further along the beach and scattered around the village. Ranged
around this busy junction are two well stocked general stores, a couple of café
bars, a bank, pharmacy, laundry and the taxi and auto rickshaw rank, from where
one can pick up transport to the beach 2-km west.
Other Goa beaches
Select Location to search for hotels, restaurants and other